Airfinity estimates 241 million COVID-19 vaccine doses purchased by the G7 and EU will go unused and expire by March this year.
In September 2021, Airfinity forecast 100 million vaccines would expire by the end of 2021. Today UNICEF said poorer nations rejected more than 100 million doses in December alone due to a short shelf life.
Airfinity’s forecast is based on analysis of G7 and EU vaccine supply while accounting for doses administered, boosters for everyone over 12 years-old, vaccine hesitancy and donations.
Co-founder and CEO of Airfinity, Rasmus Bech Hansen says, “These numbers show that vaccinating the world is now largely a distribution problem and no longer a supply issue. Even after successful booster rollouts, there are surplus doses available that risk going to waste if not shared very soon. The emergence of Omicron and the likelihood of future variants shows there is no time to waste.”
Dr Matt Linley, Lead Analyst at Airfinity, says, “Countries need these vaccines to have a minimum shelf life of two months, otherwise there isn’t enough time to get them to the people who need them. Once this two month requirement is factored into our analysis the number of potentially wasted doses could rise to 500 million by March.”